I have some time off work, and the current heat wave here in Iberia is supposed to break tomorrow, so I'm going to put my Brompton on a bus tomorrow night at about 11:30 and head for Setúbal, Portugal, and then ride down the coast to Lagos, where I'll take the slow but bike-friendly train over to Vila Real de Santo António and the Spanish frontier.
Have any of you ridden along that part of the Portuguese coast? I've done it several times. It's just lovely, no big cities to speak of, really, mostly small towns and villages, lovely beaches, delicious food and, above all, friendly people.
I'm surprised that I almost never run into any other touring cyclists over there. If any of you've been and have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
My brother and I rode Lisbon-Lagos in February 2013. It was... very uneven We went from Lisbon to Sesimbra, which should be a pretty easy route, but we thought we could do it by beach and ended up pushing our bikes through the sand for a good 4-5 hours. Riding down the road into Sesimbra at night was a bit harrowing. We tried to take smaller roads to Setubal but had problems riding up and down, up and down... from Setubal on it was great, took the ferry to Troia, then had a couple 100km+ days to Sagres, where we had a rest day, and over to Lagos the next day, where we took a coach back to Lisbon before our flight home.
We passed by at least two families on that tour. The food was amazing and cheap, the off-season hotels were cheap as hell as well, but next time I think I'd try to wild camp and visit a hotel every 3-4 days.
I cycled the section from Santiago do Cacém as far as Faro last May as part of ten day tour. I passed a couple of touring cyclists but I was on the main road keeping going and avoided the seaside dog legs.
Must go back and take it slower next time like you say.
The only issue we really had was the massive climbs on some of the smaller roads... We got off and pushed at least 5 or 6 times over those 5 or 6 days of riding
Really? I don't remember doing that much climbing; my memory must be failing me. I won't be carrying too much weight, which is a good thing as the gearing on my Brompton M6R and a heavy load might mean for a lot of pushing. I'd better take a few more things out of my panniers...